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Matt Comer on Trudy Wade

February 7, 2012

From Matt Comer at InterstateQ on Greensboro city councilwoman, Trudy Wade:

Let me put this as plainly as I can: Mrs. Wade, you are a bigot. In what just world is it appropriate to support a constitutional measure that forever encases an entire minority of people in second-class citizenship? Would you have supported public votes on any number of this country’s other historic civil rights measures? If your answer is yes, you’re even more of a bigot than you appear. If your answer is no, then you’re just an anti-gay bigot. Either way, you’re a bigot.

From today’s N&R:

Wade, who plans to run for a state Senate seat this year, said the constitutional amendment won’t prevent the city from providing same-sex partner benefits to its employees, as other council members have suggested.

The council is scheduled to consider a resolution to oppose the amendment tonight. Wade said she will ask council members to delay a vote until they can hold a public hearing on the issue.

The amendment, which voters will consider in May, would change the constitution to ensure that marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic union the state can recognize. State law already prohibits same-sex unions.

If you, like me, remain a sentient being and are confused by the question of how a city can provide same-sex partner benefits, when the constitutional amendment says exactly fucking otherwise, then congrats from me. I hereby direct you to Greensboro’s acting city manager and lampshade, Tom Pollard, at Busy Being Born:

The proposed constitutional amendment provides in full as follows:

“Marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this State. This section does not prohibit a private party from entering into contracts with another private party; nor does this section prohibit courts from adjudicating the rights of private parties pursuant to such contracts.”

Since 1996, G.S. 51-1.2 has provided that marriages between individuals of the same gender are not valid in North Carolina. The City’s provision of benefits to same sex domestic partners does not depend on marriage or a legal union but is based on the City’s authority to purchase life, health and other forms of insurance for the benefit of city employees and their dependents under GS 160A-162. While there are arguments to the contrary, the constitutional amendment does not directly limit the city’s ability to define dependents for the purposes of its insurance plans.

Here’s councilwoman Nancy Vaughan‘s comment:

Tony, at Zack’s urging Tom Pollard did some further research. This is his revised opinion.

After your email, I did find some materials prepared by Professor Eichner. She concludes that the amendment would certainly have the effect of prohibiting local governments from offering domestic partner insurance benefits based on a case from the Michigan Supreme Court interpreting a similar amendment. My prior opinion was based on a narrower interpretation of the proposed amendment, but Professor Eichner’s opinion is well-supported. If the amendment is passed, Greensboro’s program could certainly be subject to legal challenge and based on Professor’s Eichner’s research, there is significant risk the challenge would be successful. If you have any additional questions, please let me know.

Is it any fucking wonder that every opinion issued by the city attorney must be run by the UNC School of Government? Per John Hammer‘s suggestion, why not simply hire Frayda Bluestein to do the work of the city attorney?

Tom Pollard is an absolute jackass.

This is a goddamned outrage, and yes, I am drunk.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. collards permalink
    February 7, 2012 5:40 pm

    Who is running for a higher office and will say what she needs to say to get elected……

  2. February 7, 2012 5:46 pm

    I had to work today, but read the N&R article first thing this morning. I’m trying to understand how civil unions or domestic partnerships can be recognized in Greensboro if the amendment to the constitution outlaws them statewide.

    To your point, if Wade thinks appealing to the far right will get her elected to higher office, she is going to be disappointed. The prudent conservatives have already stated their opposition to this referendum as being needlessly combative..

    • February 8, 2012 9:32 am

      With the turnout last night and Wade’s lone vote against the resolution, you might think she’d be reconsidering her strategy to reach out to the far right. The “far right” is diminishing more and more in numbers each year. In its place is a growing population of moderates, many of them independent or unaffiliated, who have actually have heart and compassion and who won’t be in favor of this state’s proposed constitutional amendment, one of the most far-reaching and draconian examples dredged up by any of the 30 states that have already passed such measures. Health insurance and other benefits, custody and second-parenting rights, domestic violence laws and protections, public housing for “non-traditional” families… so on and so forth — this amendment and its overly-broad and overly-vague language has the potential to impact hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians. If Trudy Wade really believes in family values, she’d be standing against this amendment. But, she doesn’t believe in family values. As I’ve said plainly already, Wade is a bigot. Standing for this amendment means discriminating wholesale against an entire group of already-marginalized citizens, and many more through its unintended consequences.

      • Roch101 permalink
        February 8, 2012 12:31 pm

        I don’t think Wade is a bigot. I think she has made an unfortunate political calculation meant to help her campaign for the state senate.

      • February 8, 2012 9:27 pm

        Matt, if you knew the whole story, you’d realize how right Roch is.

  3. michele permalink
    February 8, 2012 9:59 am

    I miss Matt.

    • February 8, 2012 9:28 pm

      I never had children or grands for that matter, but Matt stands in well.

  4. Janet Wright permalink
    February 8, 2012 2:27 pm

    “I don’t think Wade is a bigot.”

    I have a tough time separating bigoted behavior from the person who is displaying such behavior. If someone does or says racist things, are they not racists? If someone does or says sexist things, are they not sexists? If someone says or does bigoted things, are they not bigots?

    Taking this particular situation a step further, if someone engages in something strictly as a political calculation, are they not disingenuous?

    • February 8, 2012 9:30 pm

      I don’t care to differ with Occam’s Razor.

  5. RBM permalink
    February 8, 2012 5:33 pm

    Taking this particular situation a step further, if someone engages in something strictly as a political calculation, are they not disingenuous?

    At least disingenuous. And, plausibly, given such a behavior as political calculation, something worse, IMO.

    For those with Roch’s point of view: what would one have to say to be a bigot ? Rhetorically speaking, of course.

    • Roch101 permalink
      February 8, 2012 7:50 pm

      What did Wade say that is evidence she is a bigot?

      • Janet Wright permalink
        February 9, 2012 10:11 am

        M-W: “Definition of BIGOT
        : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance”

        Trudy: “The very basis of our legal system — our Judeo-Christian principles — is on the ballot. I hope that each citizen will register to vote and make sure that conservative family values are not compromised in our great state.”

        Actually, I think her entire statement is evidence but didn’t want to paste the whole thing here. I think you’ve seen it. “…conservative family values” seems to be specifying only one way of looking at this issue.

      • Roch101 permalink
        February 9, 2012 12:32 pm

        Yes, she is being intolerant. The question is, is it because she holds prejudices against gay people or because it is politically advantageous?

    • February 8, 2012 9:38 pm

      Roch is defending a small piece of ground.

      • Janet Wright permalink
        February 9, 2012 1:54 pm

        “The question is, is it because she holds prejudices against gay people or because it is politically advantageous?”

        Yeah. That is indeed the question. Either way, she wrong. BUT if we look at her history, we know that she ran for County Commissioners as a democrat and lost. She then changed to the republican party because she couldn’t win in her home district as a dem. So she does have a history of doing what’s politically expedient. The fervor with which she addresses some of these issues is interesting to me. It’s like, “if I say it, I’ll convince people.” “If I say it really, really loud, I’ll convince myself!”

        I’ve given up trying to understand anyone’s motives anymore.

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